21 April 2011

Suicide is Painless

Like everyone else in the world, I get a lot of my information from my Facebook and Twitter feeds. It’s quick, easy, and often runs about 20 minutes ahead of “Breaking News”, which is nice, although I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with those extra 20 minutes where I know about a forest fire in California before everyone else does.

Regardless, today my Facebook feed filled up rather quickly with 4 different Pittsburgh comedians I know all urging people to vote for them in Pittsburgh Magazine’s “Best of the Burgh” poll. I like voting for stuff, as it makes me feel somewhat important for a few minutes, so I headed over to check it out.

They have a bunch of categories for pretty much anything you can think of—except there’s nothing film or video based. You can vote for a lot of things, like best app or worst accent, but not Best Local Web Series or Filmmaker or, well, anything.

At first, I thought it was maybe an oversight, but then I tried to think of who I would vote for, if the category existed. Thing is, there aren’t a whole lot of people making any noise in the city. At least, not noise that’s made its way to my Facebook or Twitter feeds. Nothing I’ve really heard about of substance, other than Jeff Waltrowski’s IT CAME FROM YESTERDAY, but that isn’t even done yet.

And I’m sure there’s people doing good work in the city. It’d be kind of shocking if there wasn’t. But, who are they? I certainly haven’t heard of them.

The truth is, the category isn’t in Pittsburgh Magazine’s poll because there’s no point. No one’s going to campaign for it and it isn’t going to drive people to the website (which is the point of the whole thing), so why should they bother? No one’s even complaining about the lack of a category. No one cares. Why?

Because the community is dead.

Maybe not completely dead, but gasping for air and trying to fend off the death rattle. And sure, it’s easy to point fingers and say how hard it is, but that doesn’t distract from the point that a lot of communities do a lot more with a lot less. It’s like they’ve collectively gotten in a hot bath and opened up their wrists because, well, no one gives a fuck.

Or maybe they’re all just hoping that after they die they can all come back as zombies. Pittsburgh does love zombies.